December 10, 2014
Former CIA officer John Kiriakou was sentenced Friday January 25, 2013 to 30 months in federal prison for exposing the truth. He is currently in a federal prison in Loretto, Pennsylvania. Facing 30 years, he took a plea deal for 30 months. He has five children, and it's been difficult to see them while he's been inside.
This whistle blower helped expose CIA torture of detainees then held in secret prisons and now that CIA and its defenders who denied using torture have been publicly exposed, it is time to release John Kiriakou.
We always knew CIA tactics were illegal and always rejected the Nazi-like euphemism, "enhanced interrogation techniques" and since the public has caught up with our advanced, perceptive capacities, it is time to release John Kiriakou from prison.
The delusional, U.S. District Court Judge Leonie M. Brinkema said Kiriakou had damaged the agency. She called the 2 1/2 year sentence, the result of a plea arrangement with prosecutors, “way too light.” She needs to acknowledge the fact that her previous assessment was too biased to take seriously.
Kiriakou helped lead the CIA team that captured Abu Zubaydah, believed to a senior Al Qaeda facilitator, in Pakistan in 2002. Five years later, after he had left the agency, Kiriakou said in media interviews that Abu Zubaydah and other detainees were waterboarded while in CIA custody, offering among the first insider accounts of the agency’s use of simulated drowning.
Abu Zubaydah, who was waterboarded 83 times, divulged valuable intelligence on key Al Qaeda figures, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. But he was also subjected to conventional questioning, making it difficult to determine if the harsher techniques were effective.
Kiriakou initially defended the use of waterboarding and said it persuaded Abu Zubaydah to reveal important details. But his views “evolved,” he said, and eventually he decided the technique constituted torture.
“Is it is a very sad event in U.S. intelligence history, especially since they chose an individual who by all accounts, during his tenure at the agency, was a top flight officer,” said Matthew Aid, an intelligence historian and author of “Intel Wars: The Secret History of the Fight Against Terror.”
John Kiriakou is a patriot, not a traitor. He was accused by the Department of Justice of crimes under the 1917 Espionage Act, a charge historically reserved for persons who betrayed their country to foreign governments for money.
The people of the United States of America get it. In 2009, they rallied against torture outside the longtime offices Mitchell, Jessen and Associates, a consulting firm founded by two former military psychologists who reportedly helped develop abusive interrogation techniques for the CIA and the U.S. military. The psychologists, James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen, reportedly trained interrogators to use waterboarding on U.S.-held detainees after the Sept. 11 attacks.
On January 23, 2012, the Department of Justice charged ex-C.I.A. officer John Kiriakou with providing Deuce Martinez's name to the New York Times. Deuce Martinez quit the CIA to work for Mitchell, Jessen and Associates. In other words, when criminals in the US government are exposed, they continue their practice through unaccountable, private enterprise, and heroes like John Kiriakou are punished.
It was a rather bizarre allegation because Scott Shane wrote that he already knew Martinez' name before he contacted Kiriakou: "I asked [Kiriakou] about an interrogator whose name I had heard: Deuce Martinez. He said that they had worked together to catch Abu Zubaydah, and that he would be a great source on Mr. Mohammed, the architect of the Sept. 11 attacks. He was able to dig up the business card Mr. Martinez had given him with contact information at Mitchell Jessen and Associates, the C.I.A. contractor that helped devise the interrogation program and Mr. Martinez’s new employer. Mr. Martinez, an analyst by training, was retired and had never served under cover; that is, he had never posed as a diplomat or a businessman while overseas. He had placed his home address, his personal e-mail address, his job as an intelligence officer and other personal details on a public Web site for the use of students at his alma mater. Abu Zubaydah had been captured six years earlier, Mr. Mohammed five years earlier; their stories were far from secret. Mr. Martinez never agreed to talk to me. But a few e-mail exchanges with Mr. Kiriakou as I hunted for his former colleague would eventually turn up in Mr. Kiriakou’s indictment; he was charged with revealing to me that Mr. Martinez had participated in the operation to catch Abu Zubaydah, a fact that the government said was classified."
The era of Dick Cheney is over. Dick Cheney had demanded that the CIA release statements that torture was effective because, in his words, "we got actionable intelligence from these tecqniques". No dout, fans of movies like "24 hrs" have a one track mind. Investigative reporter, Katherine Eban reached an opposite conclusion. According to her research, Abu Zubaydah did not reveal valuable information as a result of torture. "There had been an FBI interrigation team with him, initially, which had basically nursed him back to health after a gunshot wounds, and used rapport building, classic rapport building tactics, which is what the FBI excels at, and it was because of those that he revealed that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was the architect of 911, and also revealed the name of Jose Padilla until Mitchell showed up along with a CIA interrogatorogation team began imposing these harsh tactics and Zubaydah clammed up. So in response to that, they made a request to accelerate these tactics. They referred to them in the memos which were just released as the "intense pressure phase"...under torture, Zubaydah gave investigators a lot of false leads which ate up the time of American intelligence back home, so you know the debate is a very live one, there are people in the CIA who say these tactics absolutely worked and I do think this is going to be a central question as they go forward, is the effeciveness of these tactics."
Now that the Senate report has essentially confirmed John Kiriakou's understanding it is time to admit the fact that his conviction is a clear consequence of a massive schizophrenic delusion that has been publicly acknowledged. Free John Kiriakou without any further delay.
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